Welcome to the Bionic Aircraft Project
Additive Manufacturing (AM) plays an important role in the development of new resource-efficient manufacturing technologies. The “Bionic Aircraft” project is focusing on enhancing resource efficiency of aviation by developing and implementing additive layer manufacturing (ALM) technologies and bionic design in all stages of an aircraft life cycle. With ALM as a tool-less production technology, highly developed geometries and internal structures can be produced, which can be only done with traditional manufacturing processes either with highly material, time and cost consuming processing steps, if at all possible.
With a successful implementation of ALM technologies, the resource efficiency of aviation will be increased in all stages of an aircraft life cycle from manufacturing over operation and maintenance to recycling. With new bionic design approaches and the development of high-strength aluminium alloys, component weight savings of more than 50% compared to traditional manufacturing in titanium are expected. During manufacturing, the capture efficiency for ALM powder production for aluminium will increase by 30%. Due to the average weight reduction of more than 30% for topology and bionic optimized ALM components the emissions will be reduced during the operation. At the same time, new innovative repair methods for ALM components will lead to increase their service life up to 50%, reducing maintenance cost and effort. In addition, the determination of efficient after-sales supply chains is addressed. Due to the development of an efficient recycling method, the recycling rate for ALM parts will increase to 95% in the recycling phase.
With the developments envisaged in the Bionic Aircraft project, the maturity level of AM will be transferred to a resource efficient production process, significantly increasing the use of AM in civilian aircrafts. In the medium term, the advances in bionic design and material technology will lead to a weight reduction of up to 1 ton per aircraft. In the long term, the construction of completely new types of aircrafts will be possible, which significantly reduces emissions during operation. The environmental impact is further reduced by the resource efficiency of AM technologies themselves and new possibilities of spare part logistics.
The project "BionicAircraft" targets the work programme "Enhancing Resource Efficiency of Aviation (MG-1.2-2015)" within the Mobility for Growth 2015 call.